WASHINGTON -- As Congress moves to restructure health care -- an industry that comprises one-sixth of the U.S. economy -- the nation's elected representatives have heard a variety of views in a variety of ways.
Constituents have called, e-mailed and organized noisy rallies. Lobbyists have held meetings and compiled reams of data to push their agendas.
One way to seek out a politician's ear is to write a check, as campaign donations are often given with the expectation of access at a fundraiser or private meeting.
Using data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has examined health industry contribution information for the Pittsburgh area's Congressional delegation, along with context about the member's stance and role in health reform.
The House voted to pass a health reform bill Nov. 7. The Senate now is debating its version of the legislation.
If the Senate bill passes, it must be merged with the House bill in conference committee and a final version voted on again in both chambers.
Donations come from employees of groups or companies and their Political Action Committees. Donations are through Sept. 30.
For House members, who run for election every two years, the center's fundraising data is from this year only. For senators, the data is from 2005 to present.
For Sen. Bob Casey Jr., the bulk of the money shown comes from his 2006 campaign, while Mr. Specter has been raising money at a rapid pace this year for his 2010 re-election bid.
Daniel Malloy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-445-9980. Follow him on Twitter at PG_in_DC.